This interview appeared in our Spring 2005 issue. Today, Chanale is a wife and mother of two daughters! For more about her visit chanalesing.blogspot.com.
Interview with Singer & Songwriter
When did you start singing? What role did music play in your childhood?
Coming from a musical family, I’ve always appreciated music and loved singing. In highschool I participated in all the school choirs and in summer camp I directed the choirs myself! I took a year of piano lessons at age 10 and a year of guitar lessons when I was about 12 but only began seriously playing when I was 15.
When did you start performing? When did your first CD come out?
My first performance was in January 2001 at a concert organized by a cousin of mine, by women for women. She persuaded me to sing my songs on the same stage as a professional opera singer and harpist! After the show I got a bunch of requests for a Chanale CD, which pushed me to start seriously writing and recording the songs for what eventually became ‘Believer’.
How did word get out about your CDs?
In Summer of 2002 I went to South Africa for my cousin’s wedding and put on a con- cert there for the high school girls. Believer was only a dream at that point, so in the meantime I printed 100 copies of a CD I called “Children of Hashem” with 7 songs on it. I sold a bunch of them at the concert and I gave the remaining ones to friends and family. People made copies of copies of copies and slowly but surely word got out that I wrote, recorded and sang my own songs.
What do you hope to accomplish with your songs? What do you want girls and women to learn from them?
My dream is that each one of my songs will move every woman and girl in her own personal way. I want the music to entertain them, the words to inspire them, and the meaning I put into the songs to come through and touch their hearts and souls. Essentially I hope to turn my listeners on to their own spirituality and personal connection to Hashem (G-d).
Chanale’s Advice for Jewish Girls:
Stay focused on what is important in life, especially when you’re young and it is so easy today to get distracted and negatively influenced. A Jewish girl is a Bat Melech, a princess, and should never forget that she is holy and special. There is a beautiful and satisfying life to be had for a girl who remains committed to her Jewish values!
Who is your role model? Who helped you the most in your singing career?
I was very inspired by singer Ruti Navon, a very popular Jewish female singer when I was growing up. At a few of her concerts I attended as a young child, I remember daydreaming that she would call me onstage to sing with her! In my mind she is the image I see when I think of a “frum (observant) superstar.”
Since the very beginning my mother was my biggest fan and her support and encouragement kept me going through some very frustrating nights of recording. In my career as a whole I would say the support and appreciation from my listeners is what really helped me every step of the way.
Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
While some of songs are drawn from personal experiences, most of them are inspired by the amazing women I meet every day, including the Rebbetzins, Morahs (teachers), Balas Teshuvos (returnees to Judaism), mothers and daughters that come hear me sing. They are proof that the power and beauty of Jewish girls is stronger today than ever. My songs give credit and recognition to the important roles they play.
What’s different between performing and recording a CD? Which do you prefer?
I love both equally. The technical aspects of recording a CD are very time consuming and tedious. A lot of neck-aching time is spent by the piano, computer and mixer, playing, editing and mixing the actual music. The most rewarding and exciting part of recording is the singing. I love working out the harmonies, adding layer after layer of vocals and finally playing back the music and vocals together and hearing how the project falls into place!
I look at performing as breathing life into my songs. When I sing for a crowd of women , the passion I feel for each song gives life to them, and I enjoy and appreciate them all over again. Unlike when listening to playbacks for the tenth time in a row, I never get tired of performing my songs.
How long does it usually take to make a CD?
Hundreds and hundreds of hours!
Describe the process of making a CD.
Wow, there’s so much! In short it’s writing the lyrics, writing the melody, arranging, playing, recording ,editing and mixing the music tracks, arranging, recording, editing and mixing the vocal tracks, mixing the whole project together, then repeat the proc- ess for each song!
There is also mastering the project, designing the graphic art, CD printing, duplication and finally distribution.
What are some obstacles and challenges you overcame throughout your singing career?
Hashem (G-d) has blessed me with a lot of Mazal and not too many problems along the way, so I really can’t complain!
What are your plans for the future? Will you continue singing?
I am currently writing the songs for my next album which I will IY”H start recording next year some time. Right now I am focusing on getting married as I am a Kallah (bride)! Once I’m a little more settled down, I plan to continue recording, and performing of course. The sky is the limit!